Friday, July 9, 2010

Master Komatsu's Hidden Agenda

Taro carefully slid the door open, peering into the room as he did. There, Master Komatsu was calmly sitting in the middle of the room on a square mat. His legs were crossed into a standard lotus position, and his hands were in front of him, fingers interlocked, in a common ninja hand sign which is intended to increase focus and direct the flow of chi energy throughout the body. He was meditating.
   
Taro stepped into the room, closing the door behind him, leaving only a dim light coming from candles on either side of the room. There was also the strong sent of incense, one that smelled like pine needles after a fresh rain. In front of the master, there was a second mat placed a respectable distance from the one Master Komatsu sat on.
   
Taro sat on the mat in a respectful kneeling position. With his hands laid flat on his legs and his posture strong, he waited for the master to speak. It was not his place to initiate conversation.
   
Taro felt his nerves wavering in anticipation. His backbone was growing weak with uncertainty, but Michio’s strong words came rushing back to him to renew his resolve. Still, he could feel small droplets of sweat forming on his brow.
   
He shook the feelings off. He would have to be strong and prepared for anything. Master Komatsu was always unpredictable and always full of surprises, and if he showed any signs of weakness, Master Komatsu was sure to exploit it. Still, his master didn’t seem too much in a hurry to Taro why he had summoned him there.
   
“Taro,” Master Komatsu said softly, breaking the silence. Master Komatsu didn’t open his eyes, but Taro felt as though his master was watching intently. “I have trained you for many long years,” he said. “You have been my student since you were a small child, and I have watched you blossom into a strong fighter.”
   
Taro didn’t move. He felt safer staying still, worried any movement would convey some kind of weakness.
   
“Still,” he went on. “You have too much weakness. In our last fight, I had defeated you. You had gotten much further than ever before; yet, you let your guard down and showed just enough weakness to give me the upper hand. Do you know why that is?”
   
“No, sir. Please tell me,” Taro said. Even if he knew, it was always better to feign ignorance with Master Komatsu.
   
“It is because you are always thinking with your heart instead of your head!” Master Komatsu continued. The calm in his voice seemed to have fled with these words. “A ninja must be strong. He must have a strong body to endure any physical strain. He must have a strong mind to outwit his opponents. He must have strong eyes to see everything around him, especially those things that are hidden. He must have a strong soul because the soul nourishes the body and allows it to grow. And most importantly, a ninja must have a strong heart because to be a ninja means to abandon human emotions.”
   
Taro’s eyes widened. He felt his hands clasping around his thighs.
   
“A ninja’s battle field is not the same battle field as the samurai,” he went on. “A ninja’s battle field takes place in the darkest of places. He does not merely creep through the shadows and strike when his adversary drops his guard. This is only part of a ninja’s job. A ninja must tread in the coldest reaches of man. I am talking about, of course, of the emptiness of a warrior’s heart. Feelings and emotions are a ninja’s greatest weakness. In order to succeed, a ninja must cast these feelings aside in order to do things unimaginable. This is what makes a ninja so feared—Not their silence! Not their swords! It is the cruel devotion to a ninja’s mission which makes him a terrifying adversary. Learn this well because you will never hear this lesson again. Fail to learn this, and you will die!”
   
Taro felt his heart racing. He always knew that the ninja world was cruel and unforgiving, but was that truly the fate of all ninja? Is that why Master Komatsu always wore such a stern look, deprived of happiness and joy? The ninja way is a very terrifying path, but why was Master Komatsu telling him all of this now? Never before had Taro heard so much ferocity in his master’s voice.
   
“Please, Master, why are you telling me all this?” Taro asked.
   
Master Komatsu opened his eyes and looked directly at Taro. It felt as though Master Komatsu was peering into Taro’s soul, revealing all of his hidden doubt and fear, tearing apart the barrier Taro had carefully put up to hide his feelings. Even more so, a hot flash of fear flashed through his chest, changing the depth of each breath. Master Komatsu’s stern look gradually grew into a dark and sinister smile on his face, pointedly stabbing at Taro’s deepest fears. Never before had Taro even seen his master grin. What could this possibly mean?
   
“You are not a child anymore,” Master Komatsu said calmly. “Starting today, you are no longer my student!”
   
As if he was suddenly hit in the stomach with a strong punch, Taro audibly gasped and fear shot through his chest.
   
“There is nothing more I can teach you, Taro. You have grown up to be a fine ninja and now you must continue your training. However, this training will be life or death. Your teacher will be experience and you will succeed if you do not wish to die. If you are weak such as when we fought earlier, you will most certainly die. You must not let your guard down, nor shall you show any weakness.”
   
“What are you saying?” Taro asked.
   
“It is time for your first ninja mission.”

Read Next: "The First Ninja Mission" >>>>> 

We've just learned that Taro is going to be sent on his first ninja mission! Can this be for real? Is he really ready to face this challenge or is this some kind of test his master is putting him through? What do you think? Let me know what you think in the comment sections and find out on the next exciting chapter of Taro's Ninja Spy High school.

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What is a Ninja?

There is a lot of misconception about what a ninja is.

A ninja is a weapon. A ninja is a warrior.

First appearing in writing as early as 4th century according to some history, though it is hard to place the beginning of the ninja, and most scholars agree that they emerged around the 7th-10th century. According to most Asian historians, the ninja first developed in opposition to the elite samurai during the Heian Dynasty (794-1185).

By the 15th century, the role of the ninja was primarily hired mercenary or espionage. By this time, there was already boundless myths about ninjas, calling them demons and giving them mystical powers which were widely believed to be true, but in all reality, ninjas were very trained in silence and stealth and could easily hide or slip away quickly and unnoticed in a way that would lead others to believe they were magical.

Our story presupposes a modern Japanese society where ninjas have managed to survive and continue traditional methods of teaching and hired by clients and used as weapons and tools of espionage and mercenary. Taro is one such ninja, growing up in a civilization of ninjas long-thought to be extinct. But when Taro begins his first ninja mission, his whole world gets turned upside down.